UFC legend Miesha Tate was hiking Nevada’s Mount Charleston in September of 2016 when she had to make a surprise rescue.
Six-year-old Kai Ellis, who was at the top of the mountain with her family, fell on a rock and broke her arm while playing with her sister. The former UFC bantamweight champion explained in a Facebook post that she saw Kai’s mother struggle to carry her injured daughter down the mountain’s trail, prompting Tate to step in and offer help.
“I [proceeded] to carry the sweet little thing all the way to the bottom,” Tate explained via Facebook. “Kai and I learned a lot about each other on the roughly 2-mile descent and it’s fair to say she inspired me. We made it all the way down without slipping or falling! We agreed we would both be strong for each other!”
Once reaching the bottom of the trail, Kai was taken to the hospital by her family where she received treatment for her broken arm. Tate later took to Instagram to describe her admiration for Kai’s strength and composure, in addition to making a powerful statement about femininity in sports.
“I also want to make a point that I have been told many times that I am “too buff” or “manly” that I should stop lifting weights, that it’s “gross” and not attractive for a woman. I am so happy I never listened to the limitations others wanted to put on me and I hope that our youth knows that [they] don’t have to conform. That strength and beauty comes from within!”
Miesha Tate won the UFC women’s bantamweight title earlier in 2016 after submitting then-champion Holly Holm. She would announce her retirement from mixed martial arts that November at just 30 years of age. After retiring, Tate became Vice President of the Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship. She continues to compete in grappling competitions and is still an important figurehead of the MMA community to this day.